I am most inspired by nature’s perfect design. Since 1993, I have explored translating the complex and balanced forms that I see in nature into small metal sculptures to be worn and to adorn. It is one of my favorite challenges… to see a beautiful flower or leaf, etc. and to figure out how to recreate it in silver and gold. The results are refined, delicate pieces that encapsulate a love for nature, art & symbolism and also, I hope, imbue a classic elegance that will flatter the wearer of each piece.
Often, I start with a picture or sketch and then make a paper model. The paper model is transferred onto silver sheet and then cut-out with a jewelers saw. I will then dap, chase, file, sand/smooth, or whatever it takes to refine the shape(s) until it is just what I’m looking for. Sometimes scrapping what I’ve worked on and re-making until it’s “right”. When the model is finished I use the lost-wax casting process to make multiples in silver or gold. The castings are “cleaned” by filing, grinding, smoothing with a rubber wheel and then finished with a satin buff to impart a soft luster to the metal. Pieces are then soldered together and findings (clasps, earwires, pin closures, etc.) are added. The final step is to brush each piece by hand with a soft brass brush to enhance the luster of the satin finish.
Elise was born the youngest of six children in Woodbridge, Virginia. As an "Army brat" she enjoyed much travel and had the opportunity to live in many places and experience different cultures. Since early childhood she has enjoyed creating things and so, after graduating from Central High School (her father’s high school alma mater) in Manchester, NH, was thrilled to attend the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, RI (the ultimate “art camp”).
After earning a BFA in Jewelry and Light Metals from RISD in 1990, she worked a couple of years for other Providence-based designers. During that time she honed her metal skills, developed her unique jewelry line and started a business selling her designs around the US and other countries.
Between 1993 and 2004 she co-owned EAM Gallery in downtown Portsmouth, a store featuring her jewelry as well as other great designers. Since 2004, Elise has worked from her studio at the Button Factory, in Portsmouth's West End, and continues to offer her jewelry at fine galleries and stores around the country as well as online.